Born Dorothy Jean Dandridge in Cleveland, the actress was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress. The beauty snagged the nomination for her part in the movie musical Carmen Jones. The singer and actress also held notable roles in films such as Bright Road, Tarzan's Peril and Porgy and Bess. In 1999, HBO released a biopic commemorating the life and career of the famed actress with Halle Berry playing the lead role. Dandridge's influence in the film industry has been recognized by everyone from Whitney Houston to Cicely Tyson and she is one of the "Four Ladies of Hollywood," a gazebo of statues honoring the film industry's early female minority leaders.

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